ABS light is on

  • By Lea Naiz
  • 28 Jun, 2017

An ABS warning light means the ABS system has been deactivated because of a self-diagnosed fault. Normal braking should remain. This means a wheel could “lock up” when applying the brakes, allowing the vehicle to “go into a spin.”

However, the vehicle should be safe to drive provided the driver does not have to call on his ABS system when panic braking, or on a wet or slick surface.

An ABS warning light may also indicate a loss of power-assist if the vehicle has an ABS system relying on an electric pump and pressure accumulator pump rather than a conventional vacuum booster.

The car will still brake, but will not have the usual power assist. This could create an unsafe situation for drivers who have difficulty braking without power assist.

An anti-lock warning lamp that comes on when the car starts moving, or anti-lock braking operation or valve cycling that occurs during normal stops on dry pavement, often indicates a problem with one of the wheel speed sensors.

When both brake and antilock warning lights are on, and there is a lack of normal power assist, the pump may be inoperative on applications that have an integral ABS system.

When both warning lamps are on and power assist is present, it may indicate a low brake fluid level or loss of hydraulic pressure in one of the brake circuits.

ABS is essentially an add-on to the existing brake system. It only comes into play when traction conditions are marginal or during sudden panic stops. The rest of the time, it has no effect on normal driving or braking.

If brakes are pulling or grabbing during normal braking, it is not an ABS problem. The vehicle has a conventional brake problem needing attention.

A brake warning lamp (not ABS lamp) that remains on or comes on while driving, usually signals a problem with the hydraulic system, not the ABS system. There may be a fluid leak or loss of pressure, either of which pose a danger to safe braking. The cause of the brake warning light should be investigated immediately.

Blog Categories

Recent Posts

By Morgan Gertler 04 Oct, 2017
If you take your car to a dealership for service, you will get OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. If you go to an independent shop, you will most likely (though not necessarily) get aftermarket parts. Many people assume that OEM is better, and worry that aftermarket parts may not be up to par. Is there any truth to this belief? Or does it make sense to save money by using aftermarket parts? What’s the difference, anyway? Here’s what you should know.
By Morgan Gertler 04 Oct, 2017
Today’s gas stations offer a variety of options, from unleaded fuel with a range of octane ratings to diesel fuel. Sometimes higher-octane choices have names such as Super, Plus, Super Plus, Premium, or Super Premium. With so many different types of gas to choose from, you might wonder what happens if you select the wrong one. What happens if you use the wrong gas depends on what kind of engine you have and which specific fuel you use.
By Morgan Gertler 04 Oct, 2017
Extreme weather is a fact of life, and now is the time to get prepared. While regular car maintenance is always essential, different weather events make certain problems more likely to occur. Here are 4 tips for handling whatever extreme weather might come your way.
By Morgan Gertler 30 Aug, 2017
Visibility is a major key to safe, defensive driving, but many people overlook it when caring for their cars. Maximizing visibility is essential even when driving in sunny conditions, but it can quickly become a matter of life and death when dealing with rain, fog, or snow. Fortunately, a few simple maintenance tasks can dramatically improve visibility.
By Morgan Gertler 30 Aug, 2017
Gasoline is a necessary ongoing expense for vehicle owners, and many people are looking for ways to save at the pump. You probably already know that premium fuel is an unnecessary expense for those whose cars do not require it, but you may be skeptical of switching to an off brand. Will cheap gas harm your car? Here is what you should know.
More Posts
Share by: